President Muhammadu Buhari will open the 3rd World Aviation Forum of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of State, Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has said.
The minister announced the plan in a statement issued by Mr James Odaudu, Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said Buhari’s attendance was to emphasise the importance attached to the consideration of Nigeria as the first country to host the event outside ICAO headquarter in Montreal, Canada.
The minister said the forum, scheduled to take place from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, underscored Nigeria’s rising profile within the aviation world.
According to him, it is a clear indication of the confidence the Buhari Administration has elicited within the sector and an endorsement by the world body of its reform programmes for the aviation industry.
“The third ICAO World Aviation Forum is intended to explore the benefits of the aviation sector to social, economic development and prosperity of member states.
“It is aimed at top-ranking government officials in-charge of aviation, transport and infrastructure, finance, economy and tourism; and key industry and financial partners.
“The forum is also expected to discuss, identify needs and facilitate the funding and financing required to accelerate the implementation of international civil aviation standards and policies, as well as global plans for aviation, in support of the ICAO No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative.”
Sirika said the objectives of the forum would be the establishment and alignment of infrastructure programmes and plans that were consistent with the ICAO global strategic plans for aviation.
He identified some of the strategies as the Global Aviation Safety Plan and the Global Air Navigation Plan.
The minister said the event was also designed to stimulate common and interoperable air transport systems leading to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
He said the country would build on the outcomes of the forum to tackle the existing and future financing challenges facing aviation infrastructure and capacity development in member states, especially in Africa.
Sirika assured the participants of the usual hospitality of the government and people of Nigeria, saying the nation appreciated the honour and privilege of being the first country to host the forum.
He also appealed to ICAO to extend more support to Nigeria in the government’s drive to reposition the aviation sector.